Glucose is the primary source of fuel for the brain, but its unhealthy levels can have adverse effects on the brain. Excessive levels of sugar can affect both our cognitive skills and our self-control. Experts say that sweet food as well as salty and fatty foods produce drug-like effects in the human brain, which can result in the loss of self-control, overeating, and weight gain.
High-glycemic foods are capable of activating regions of the brain linked with the reward response. They can also provoke intense feelings of hunger.
Research related to brain activity has found that overeating can alter our brain’s reward system, which results in further overeating. This process is also the same as addiction. With overeating, there comes a need to eat more to reach the same level of reward.
Excessive sugar anywhere in the body is harmful, if the levels of glucose are elevated anywhere in the bloodstream, it can have adverse effects on the brain. This can result in impaired cognitive function and loss of memory and attention. Some studies also say that high sugar levels can cause inflammation in the brain, which can result in memory difficulties. But, the inflammatory damage caused by sugar may not be permanent.
Sugar levels can also affect mood. In adults, high blood glucose can compromise the ability to process emotion, as found by a brain imaging study. One study found that type 2 diabetes patients experienced feelings of anxiety and sadness during acute hyperglycemia. Another study, a large one, involving 22,153 individuals, found that high sugar consumption is linked with a greater incidence of depression.
Studies of diabetic patients show progressive brain damage, resulting in deficits in learning, motor speed, memory, and other cognitive functions. So, to sum it up, any sugar added to our food can be harmful. We should avoid refined sugars and eat fresh fruits instead.